Investigations into corruption and what have been described by the judge as organised criminal activities on behalf of certain police officers in the Palma local force are proceeding at high speed. The investigating judge, Manuel Penalva, is expected to soon lift the gagging orders that have given the investigations such a high level of secrecy. But police (and prosecutors) drafted into the investigation still have numerous documents to analyse which have been seized in recent months.
One of the most recent lines of investigation, it is understood, involves a senior officer in the coastal district division. He is alleged to have given safety reports favourable to certain businesspeople in Arenal.
The specific complaint against this officer comes from a business owner formerly with an establishment on the frontline. He maintains that the town hall's mobility department systematically prohibited the authorisation for a terrace, arguing that it did not meet necessary requirements because of the existence of a fountain. Unable to make the establishment profitable, he sold it to a well-known businessman in the area. This done, and a police report - it is alleged - requested the removal of the fountain on safety grounds. On the basis of this, the mobility department is said to have given the new owner the go-ahead to create a large terrace.
Specialist investigating units are looking at "denuncias" issued by officers in Playa de Palma that are related to issues such as the occupation of the public way (which includes terraces) and the activities of PR "tiqueteros" deployed by leading nighttime establishments.
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